By now it's common knowledge that MSN Spaces became widely available to the general public today. As someone who's currently working on the next iteration of Spaces I've already had time to excercise the existing realease and I've got to day I like it a lot. Below is the list of top 5 things I like about Spaces

  1. Integrated Photo Album: If you visit Carnage4Life's Space you don't just get to see my blog but also a slideshow of various RSS Bandit screenshots I uploaded a few days ago.

  2. Integrated Music Lists:  I get to share my taste in music via music lists where each song is hyperlinked to search MSN Music so one can hear a sample of the music I like. For lazy people like me you can just upload a Windows Media player playlist to create a music list.

  3. MSN Messenger Integration: Words don't do it justice. Here's a screenshot of me viewing Mike Torres' contact card.  Here's a screenshot of my contact card. Yes, the rumors were right. You can post to your blog directly from MSN Messenger.

  4. Access Control: One can specify the level of access they want for their blog. You can choose to make a blog public, private or only accessible by people on your MSN Messenger Allow List. Your Allow List is a list of everyone who you've allowed to see your online presence and IM you via MSN Messenger. This should be everybody on your buddy list and everyone who's asked to put you on their buddy list and you've accepted. This allows you to create a blog that is only accessible by people in your immediate circle of friends and family which for most people are the only ones you want reading your blog or viewing your photos .

    It should be noted that in a number of markets the permissions on your Space default to "Only allow people in my MSN Messenger Allow List view my Space". So it is best to check[yourblogname]/PermissionSettings.aspx and ensure that you have specified the level of access control you are comfortable with.

  5. The Price: It's free. Completely and utterly free of charge.